Two weeks ago, we tested positive for COVID. We are both vaccinated.

Over the last one and a half years, we have worn a mask in public, limited social interactions, and practiced social distancing. We have timed trips to stores to avoid large crowds. Have ordered takeout from restaurants. We made every attempt to be as cautious as possible. Still, COVID found us.

We are both devout Southern Baptists. We put our trust in God. God showed his mercy by surrounding us with amazing medical professionals. We are certain that following the advice of our doctor kept us from being hospitalized. Our doctor encouraged us to get the vaccine as soon as it was made available to us, and we did.

After our positive diagnosis, our doctor recommended monoclonal antibodies, and we followed that advice as well. Our symptoms? Well, they came in waves - the aches, feeling cold, then hot, lethargy, the sweating. The severe congestion was a constant and then we both lost our ability to taste and smell. For all we endured, we never spiked a high fever. We never had our oxygen level drop on room air. Neither of us needed emergency care to save our life due to COVID.

In short, trusting the advice of our doctor worked. The vaccine did what it was created to do.

We are thankful to those who have continuously called and checked on us once we made our diagnosis known. We are extremely thankful for your prayers and your encouragement. We got through COVID with the help of our village, a healthy balance of prayers, and science.

There is a plethora of stories about unvaccinated folks passing away from this heinous disease, from family members of co-workers to members of our community. We’ve lost a couple of friends. It does not discriminate unless you are talking about those who are vaccinated and those who are not vaccinated.

If we can implore you to do something, it would be this: Please get vaccinated, socially distance when you are able, and wear a mask. Do this for the sake of others; for the ones who lost their lives to COVID before a vaccine; for those in our community that are frontline medical workers; for all of us who are sick and tired of this mess.

From our vantage point, it is neither morally responsible nor Christlike to refuse the vaccine adamantly and vocally or to refuse safety measures based on purely self-centered reasons tucked behind religious overtones. This is much larger than any one person. This is about putting others above yourself.

We’re often reminded of Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests but also to the interests of others.”

This aforementioned verse is not taken out of context or being used to promote a specific agenda. It’s straightforward. It’s blunt. It applies to getting the vaccine. It applies to life. It is, in our personal walk of faith, what a follower of Christ should strive to do.

Friends, COVID is not partisan. It doesn’t care about your faith. It will care, however, if you choose to ignore researched-based science. Get vaccinated. Social distance. Wear a mask. Do these things for the ones you love. Do these things for our frontline medical workers, who are buckling under the oppressive weight of treating folks with COVID. Do these things for the sake of others. Do these things because we are called to do these things and “...in humility count others more significant than yourselves...”

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